Is Your AC Short Cycling?


An air conditioner is made to run in cycles. The compressor powers up when the temperature is too high, circulates refrigerant until the target temperature is reached, and shuts down. But what if your air conditioner turns on and off frequently, stopping its cooling cycle before your house reaches a comfortable temperature? That’s called short cycling, and it’s a sign of an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

What Causes Short Cycling?

An air conditioner is a complex system with many components, and short cycling can happen for a variety of reasons. A clogged filter, a refrigerant leak, an air leak, ice on the evaporator coil, or a miscalibrated thermostat may cause an AC unit to shut down too soon during the cooling cycle. A trained and experienced professional in AC Repair in Houston, TX can determine the cause and repair the issue.

Why Is It So Important to Address Short-Cycling?

A short cycling air conditioner won’t be effective at keeping your house comfortably cool. The brief cycles of cooling won’t allow the cooled air to reach more distant areas, leading to hot spots in your home. But if the problem is left untreated, it can have far worse consequences than leaving you overheated.

Imagine trying to pull a heavy wagon. Getting it rolling from a stop will use a lot more energy than keeping it rolling once you’ve started. It’s the same with air conditioning. Starting up is the most energy-intensive part of your AC unit’s cycle. Just as you use more energy to overcome the resistance of the stationary wagon, the air conditioner uses more voltage to overcome electrical resistance as it powers up the compressor. Short cycling means many more start-up cycles, which puts strain on the compressor and other components. This can lead to rapid wear and tear, and eventually more costs that come from your wallet. Our primary goal here is to save money and stay comfortable over the long term.

Fixing the problem quickly means avoiding a much bigger problem, like having to replace a compressor that’s been worn out by constant short cycling, or even having to replace the entire unit. A prompt repair also saves you from strain on your wallet when it’s time to pay the energy bill–all that constant starting up requires a lot of power, and an AC unit that cycles properly is much less costly to run.

How Can the Problem Be Resolved?

The simplest cause to address is the air filter in your AC unit. It should be changed every 1-3 months during times when the air conditioner is in consistent use. If you’ve changed it, and the unit continues short cycling, it’s time to call in a professional. Our team is knowledgeable, licensed, and experienced, and you can rely on us to diagnose the cause of your air conditioner’s short cycling and find the best solution for you.

Call All Star A/C & Heating Services for the best in home comfort. Our integrity is our best, most-used tool in our bag.

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